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Community Library Informational Profiles for City Government and Community Relations

Contra Costa County Library

Innovation Leader: Anne Cain, County Librarian, Contra Costa County, acain@ccclib.org

Problem Statement

In 2008, OCLC published research on library funding and advocacy that pointed to the importance of using targeted marketing messages to build support for libraries. The report's findings indicate that public perception of the library is an important predictor of funding support, and that government officials in particular respond to advocacy that emphasizes return on investment and strategic partnerships.

With a combined $4 million in budget cuts during the 2009-10 and 2010-11 fiscal years, the partnerships between the county and cities are critical. As facilities and maintenance costs for the 25 community libraries are shifted to their cities, effective and successful communication to city governments and the local community are essential in fostering organizational support, encouraging long-term growth, and maintaining the overall success of Contra Costa County Library.

Innovation

Contra Costa County Library created compelling and effective informational profiles specific to each library to highlight community impact, critical partnerships and collaborations, unique programs and events, essential outreach efforts, special grants and awards, etc. to city governments and the local community. The attractive two-sided document provides information on Contra Costa County Library on one side and the individual community library on the verso containing both text and photos. The profiles target existing allies and will reach new audiences by integrating data that supporters can use as an advocacy tool with a compelling story that will persuade potential supporters of the library's value.

Progress

The informational profile shines a spotlight on each community library within the Contra Costa County Library and strengthens communication and partnership between the county and cities during difficult budget years. It reinforces and promotes local libraries as successful public institutions of innovation, community, opportunity, and ideas integral to the residents and neighborhoods of a thriving community.